Last week, we predicted that Adele would start 2012 with her 14th (non-consecutive) week at #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, and lo! the prediction came true. Now that the final numbers are in for 2011 (full singles and album sales lists after the jump), Adele’s dominance has never been clearer. Selling 5.82 million copies of 21 during the calendar year 2011, Adele outsold second place holder Michael Bublé‘s Christmas by over 3 million copies, and marked the most sales of any album since 2004 when Usher‘s Confessions sold 7.98 million copies. “Rolling In The Deep” was also at the top of the singles sales list, with 5.81 million copies sold, the first single to ever exceed 5 million paid downloads in a year.
It will be interesting to see what 2012 holds for Adele, given that the singer/songwriter isn’t planning to turn out another album any time soon, and has been quoted as saying she wants to “lay low” for a while, and only release a new album when it’s perfect. Adele was the only artist in 2011 to have Top 10 sales for two singles (“Someone Like You” was #7), and was joined by Lady Gaga as the only other artist to have both a Top 10 sales ranking album and single. Given that Forbes named Lady Gaga the highest earning female artist in 2011, and that she’s set to release another album in 2012 when Adele could quite possibly drop off the radar entirely, could 2012 be Mother Monster’s year to shoot to number one? And if not, who will rise to the top of the pack in Adele’s absence? Will they be able to come close to Adele’s behemoth sales?
An excerpt from Rolling Stone‘s January 2012 issue’s cover story (on newsstands soon) has tongues wagging across the Internet today, as The Black Keys‘ Patrick Carney took what can only be described as a devastatingly large swipe at Nickelback. Speaking candidly to Rolling Stone, Carney said, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world… So they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be sh*t — therefore you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. F**k that! Rock & roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don’t like to see it f**king ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous sh*t. When people start lumping us into that kind of sh*t, it’s like, ‘F**k you,’ honestly.”
Speaking of “honestly”, we’re honestly a little bit dumbstruck by the comment — as a completely unprovoked attack, it seems a quite malicious and in poor spirit. We can understand why musicians have seen a void in rock music of late — what with the trend towards Euro-dance, high energy pop and Adele in 2011 — but we’re not sure that the attribution of blame for this is so quantifiable. And we’d like to know who exactly is “lumping” The Black Keys with Nickelback; to us, the two bands present two very different sounds, and we think it would be an oversight to say they are of similar influence. We’re not saying that The Black Keys should be Nickelback fans, we’re just surprised that Carney’s statement was filled with such unnecessary vitriol towards the Nickelback. Come on guys, there’s enough room on the charts for everyone, and we like to think that there will always be a place for rock & roll, no matter what other contemporary trends emerge.
Happy New Year! As we usher in 2012, it’s time for everyone to sit back and reflect on the past, and make adjustments for a brighter future. You know what we’re talking about; the unavoidable, almost-reprehensible-but-not-reprehensible-enough-that-you-won’t-do-it task of setting resolutions for one’s self. No matter how vehemently you oppose New Year’s resolutions —we’re looking at you, Simon Cowell— you can’t help but make them, even if you do it on the sly. Yep, we know how much of a chore coming up with resolutions can be, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to create some for our favorite artists…
Lady Gaga: Instead of taking it off, try putting it on. What we’re trying to say is less peacocking, more clothes — we want to see a real human for once (not that we don’t love Mother Monster, it would just be a welcome change to see the girl underneath).
Kanye West: Do not collaborate with Lana Del Rey. No seriously, we know she’s new, but what we like about you is that you are not only adept at picking “new” artists to collaborate with, you consistently find both the subversive and undiscovered.
Beyonce: Don’t spend too much time with the baby. OK that one’s entirely selfish and unreasonable on our part, but what will we do without at least 7 new Beyonce videos in 2012? WHAT WILL WE DO? Read more…
Finally ready to release a new album after 1998′s Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, Mos Def (who now goes by Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli are back as, you guessed it, Black Star. Backed by The Roots, Black Star performed “You Already Knew” from their Aretha Franklin-inspired mix tape, as well as a song called “Little Brother” (after the jump) on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Black Star performed “You Already Knew” with a raw, charged emotion, tapping into some of the issues Watch The Throne attempted to tackle with a sincerity and refinement that Hov and Ye didn’t quite pull off. A formidable hip-hop pairing indeed, we’ve been waiting years for the duo’s next album, and we can barely contain our excitement that it’s almost here!
Matthew McConaughey‘s performance as the lecherous yet lovable Wooderson in 1993′s Dazed And Confused remains one of cinema’s most iconic portrayals of a stoner. Now, in a totally unexpected twist, L.A. glam popper Butch Walker has convinced his buddy McConaughey to revisit the character in the upcoming music video for his song “Synthesizers.”
We caught up with McConaughey and Walker on the set of the video shoot in Los Angeles late last month, and Mr. J.K. Livin’ himself about reincarnating the character of Wooderson after nearly 20 years. “If you love Dazed and you loved Wooderson, you’ll see this and you’ll probably get the tickle box pretty quick,” McConaughey told us. After securing permission from Dazed writer and director Richard Linklater to use the character, Walker and McConaughey had fun envisioning what Wooderson might be like in today’s society. “It’s some new things that Wooderson never did [in Dazed],” McConaughey explains, “But we’re trying to keep it pretty close to the bone for who he might be today and things he might be into that you wouldn’t expect.” We can’t wait to see what those things are, but we have a sneaking suspicion that he’s still into high school girls, man; after all, he might be older, but they’re still the same age.
Listen To Katy Perry’s Country Turn In A Leaked Demo For “Bullet”
If you’ve ever wondered what Katy Perry would sound like doing country, then here you go; a demo has leaked of Katy Perry singing a song called “Bullet” she co-wrote for country star Jesse James‘ debut album in 2009. We hope Katy sticks to her pop roots, but we’re sort of loving this little lick of country. [Neon Limelight]
Rihanna Is Called Out For “Ripping Off” Photographer
The latest in A Big Celebrity Copied Me, Rihanna is being accused by blogger Bryan Derballa of “ripping off” the work of photographer Sandy Kim in her video for “We Found Love.” We see some similarities, but we’d only go as far to say “inspired by” and even then it’s tenuous, with so much recent “hipster” photography tending towards the aesthetic that “We Found Love” is going for. [Bryan Derballa]
Rapper Snoop Dogg became a game show hero yesterday after appearing on The Price Is Right as part of the iconic show’s “Celebrity Charity Week.” Being revealed on stage in a 1962 Lincoln convertible, Snoop certainly didn’t sacrifice his decadent style for the show — and helped the adorably excited contestant, Darlene, win the big prize. Playing the “Check Out” game together, Snoop was super encouraging of his teammate, and had a smile on his face as though he were genuinely having the time of his life.
Enthusiastic and animated, Snoop shouted at the audience for help, and egged on the nervous contestant giving her encouragement at every turn. And rightly so — every dollar she won was matched and donated to his youth charity, the Snoop Football League. Lucky then, that she won the car and went on to score another $72,000. “Celebrity Charity Week” will air all this week, and will also feature VH1 favoriteChris Daughtry, amongst others.
Finding fame when their song “Beauty’s Running Wild” was featured in an episode of CSI: New York, closely followed by another of their tracks, “Heart On Fire,” being chosen as the lead song on the current season of Grey’s Anatomy, Scars On 45 are now VH1′s featured You Oughta Know artist. So if you’ve been wondering who was responsible for the great songs on your favorite TV shows, well, now you know!
Last month, Scars On 45 released their video for “Heart On Fire,” which you can watch above. The song itself is romantic and moody, and will resonate with anyone who’s ever been in love. The video is a dramatic combination of smoke and blue-lit black ground, interspersed with gripping imagery of firemen rescuing victims from a burning building. With their first full length album set to drop this year, we’re excited to see more epic videos to accompany the band’s pervasive sounds. And we were lucky enough to have Scars On 45 pop into the VH1 studios to play live last year, as they moved us with their stripped down performance of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Scars On 45 imbibed the club banger with an altogetherly different vibe, truly making it their own with nothing but the lyrics tying their rendition to the original.
Ushering in 2012 is our first Posted artist of the year, Kina Grannis. Kina will be with us all January, giving us updates from the road including photos, tweets and exclusive stories about her travels.
Kina had been kicking around the coffee house scene for the better part of the last decade until she won a contest sponsored by Doritos back in 2008, one which landed her a record deal and exposure to hundreds of millions of people during the Super Bowl. However, she didn’t officially “go viral” until late last year when her jellybean-tastic video for “In Your Arms” racked up over 4 million views on YouTube and earned her a 2011 OMA for Best Web Born Artist. If you want to know what to expect during Kina’s Posted run, watch this adorable video of Kina as she explains, “It’s gonna be a lot of fun. Over the course of the next month, I’ll be giving you a little inside look into who I am, what I do, where I go. Should be interesting, might be weird, possibly, probably, awkward, but I’m really looking forward to it so hopefully you guys have a fun time watching!” and then proudly displays her “jelly bean message.” So get ready for a month with Kina as she travels across the country promoting her new independent album, Stairwells.
“We Are Young,” the anthemic single from New York indie pop outfit fun., was released in September without a great deal of fanfare, but quickly exploded in popularity when the song appeared on a December episode of Glee. The Gleeks consequently stormed the iTunes store en masse, rocketing the song straight to #1 in the Alternative category. And now, with the group’s second LP, Some Nights, due for release in February, there’s an official music video to whet your appetite.